Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Am I a "lead ref"?

Referee magazine had a very interesting article this month about the X-factor that makes people trust a ref on the floor...in other words, what makes an official a "lead ref." It says: "In all walks of life, leaders just stand out. They have an aura about them that tells you they have thigns under control. People believe in them and are drawn to them."

I think I'm starting to get there. But I'm not there yet.

Part of it is simply needing to get a few more seasons under my belt. This is my first year back on varsity after a four-year medically-imposed absence. Believe it or not, I feel like I'm a far better official now than I was last time I was doing varsity games--I feel like games are going smoothly (famous last words) and I'm feeling a confidence I never felt last time around. Maybe I'm just older, maybe the years of watching good officiating helped me, but I feel better.

But does the quote in Referee describe me? Not yet.

So what am I going to do? I'm going to start acting like a lead official.

The best way to become something one is not is to behave like that something. If I were (for example) shy, the way to stop being shy is to start acting like the life of the party. If I'm inattentive, the way to become attentive is to look closely at people while they talk. And if I'm not a "lead official," the way to become one is to...what?

This is where I get stumped.

I think some of it is simply calmness. I've been told I look very serious on the floor. I'm working on smiling a little, sharing an occasional joke with the players (when appropriate), and trying to communicate that I enjoy doing what I'm doing. A lot of it is going to be coach communication. I had that as one of the main things I would work on for this season, and I think it's working out so far (knock on wood). I'm able to politely communicate what I see--but so far, I haven't had a real butthead coach. That will come to a head then.

Most of all, I need to step up with my own calls.

Twice in the last two games, I've had situations where I felt like I had a call and didn't make it because I thought it might not be appropriate. While I don't want to reach into other officials' areas, I do need to trust my instincts. I need to come up strong and confident, not say "gee, is this call mine?" Even though neither situation really cost me much, and even though the situation in the last game seems to have gone the way the evaluator wanted it to, I didn't act like a lead referee.

That's something I'll be working on for the rest of the season--being the guy who exudes confidence in posture, mechanics, and being strong in key situations.

Hard to measure, but I'm on it--starting today. Lead ref--that's me.


Post a Comment

<< Home

Add Me! - Search Engine Optimization